SEEDS Spring 2015 in the MAF

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I did some emergency snow sowing today because I noticed mold on some of the paper towels in which I was cold-moist stratifying seeds. The seeds still looked okay, so I sprinkled them on the snow where I had intended to plant them and stomped on them.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Jill, I think the basil I planted between my tomatoes was 'Martina'. It grew as a very compact plant with small leaves and a bright green color. What I used was rather mild but tasty. I believe I used it in chopped salads.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Good to know, Ric, thanks! I'll be sure to get some of my regular Italian basil started also, for sauce & pesto. (I had a mishap with the first round of seedlings and ended up with zero basil in the garden last year except for a couple of 'Blue Spice' that self-sowed... really missed it!)

I'm soaking a few pepper seeds for varieties that I want to start extra-early. I'm very excited to have Caterpillar Pepper seeds, aka 'Arribibi Gusano', a small, hot, smoky-flavored ivory pepper shaped like a little wiggly caterpillar. Anybody else particularly intrigued? I'll try to have a couple of extra plants, but I'll try to start a couple extra seeds for anybody who hollers out for it.

Needless to say, I'll be starting Long Tall Sally peppers this year also.


Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Just got an email from Park Seed and they are offering free shipping today, this time with NO minimum. Promo code is FREESHIP3

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I have winter-sowed in market packs, pots, etc.. I left some uncovered and covered others with clear tray covers so that the soil stays consistently moist. The covers aren't airtight.

Which way is better? If I cover them, should I aim for the level of condensation shown in greenthumb's photo?

This message was edited Mar 8, 2015 1:04 PM

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Now that I can see some ground, I've been figuring out where to sow seeds stratifying in my fridge. Many of them are for plants that need sunny, moist-wet places. I think I found the perfect spot, which is under 1-2" of water right now (photo #1)! I'll dig up more grass and bump out that bed after it dries out. It usually doesn't flood like that, even in heavy rains.

I'm not sure how much sun this incredibly ugly moist-wet area gets (photo #2), so I'll hold off on pulling up the Japanese Pachysandra until the trees are fully leafed out and I know more about the light conditions. My Christmas tree has been in it for the last 2 months, propped up against the fence to provide shelter for birds. I decided I should move it now so I won't have to move it later in case birds build a nest in it (#3 shows its new spot)! This is a cut tree but didn't lose any needles.

Now, back to work...I'm going to try to remove a large Forsythia.

This message was edited Mar 8, 2015 1:32 PM

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annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Not sure where to post this, but an interesting perspective on grower/farmer diversification and agribusiness in Maryland as relates to Medical Marijuana from the head of Bell Nurseries.

"Following a review of the draft legislation, it was apparent that the evolution of much of the marijuana growing industry was getting ready to be the only type of growing considered by Maryland in its quest for Medical Marijuana production ó that is, artificially lit, heated and cooled warehouses.

As it stands now, production of medical marijuana is being discussed only for warehouse or indoor-style production, NOT traditional agriculture or greenhouses. Thatís a real problem for future agricultural diversity.

We explained that greenhouses in particular are already well-suited to this type of production and are more energy efficient than growing indoors under lights, and that the farm community already understands plant physiology. We talked about agricultural environmental stewardship, as well as our collective ability to build secure structures relatively quickly. As greenhouse operations are considered a farm in Maryland, permitting is less cumbersome.

Since this writing, the Maryland legislature has adjourned and passed the medical marijuana legislation. As a result of the efforts, added to the legislation in conference committee was text that favors production in agricultural zoned land, and there were two seats added to the permanent Marijuanna Commission specifically nominated by the Secretary of Agriculture. The number of authorized growers and dispensers has been settled at 15. It is unknown what demand might be but it is now well understood that agricultural producers now have the opportunity to compete for the business."

One seed=one plant=$4000+

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

random thoughts
So they think they WON"T use greenhouses?

My, this would really make $$ in some now empty warehouse and factory space.
Are there really that many people needing medical marijuana?

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

It really works well for people with seizures and it is used for cancer patients. I think also for PTSD, anxiety and other mental issues. The list is endless, and we aren't talking about people sitting in smokey rooms toking, they put it in all kinds of food. There have been several news articles, about families relocating to states that allow it, so that their children can benefit from the drug. Lots of controversy about giving it to children but when you have a child that no medication is working and they are having seizures every 15 mins you aren't too worried about long term effects you just want it to stop for now.

So I didn't grow these from seeds but my OSP are doing great so far and I should have some for the swap. Right now I have almost 2 doz and more coming.

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Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Saturday was good day despite the weather. My final, last minute seed order arrived and I finished my sowing, indoors and out. Aspenhill came by for a visit with Pat, and while showing her our bank of seed flats in the dining room windows I noticed the first sprouts of this year's sowing; Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime'. Not much to see, but it is always rewarding to see things begin to sprout.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Is that Epi in the big pot you have growing from me?
Is it #1 or #2. That is how I label them--as I do not have an actual
name ID for #2. #1 is the "Ackermanii".
Originally--I marked the firs of the two to bloom as #1. The other--then was 32.
SO--I have stuck to that as ID's of the two.

Both have beautiful blooms--but #2 will blow you away. Which one is the one you have?

Or--is yours a NBC--which i do not have. Used to have--but gave them away
as they never bloomed in my possession.

I wish I had windowsills like yours! All mine as 1 1/2" wide. :o(

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Gita, there are actually two Epis/NBCs in the photos. Each photo is of a separate window. At least one is your former NBC, but I don't know which. This is not typical of our window sills. The dining room has a bank of windows on the exterior wall. Pat constructed a tiled 24" serving counter along that wall, with cabinets underneath. Very handy for buffet dinners, overwintering plants, and germinating seeds, though the last use is not high on Pat's list of decor ideas.

This message was edited Mar 16, 2015 10:33 AM

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

How many people resort to oxycodone or even morphine for chronic, debilitating pain? How many people can't tolerate effective doses of various medications because of side effects like nausea? I bet the numbers are higher than we think.

I'm hoping PA passes medical marajuana legislation and includes chronic pain as a qualifying condition. Interestingly, in looking up the status of that legislation, I found there's also a bill for legalizing recreational use hitting the floor in the PA legislature.

Back on topic -- what's sprouting? I finally figured out why my peppers were so slow... problem wasn't old seeds... the cord to the heating mat had come unplugged from the timer... duh!

But I do have hot peppers and Torenia up, including 3 sprouts so far of the elusive Caterpillar Pepper and definitely more Aleppo than I need (maybe 6 extra seedlings -- any takers?). Looks like a nice little row of Fish Pepper seedlings, also... I think I'll plant them along my front bed this year; they're so pretty! I have Pretty Purple Peppers starting to pop... I like them along the front walk for their cute "gumball" peppers, and my seed strain seems to be quite short, under 6 inches, although that could be in part due to their hot/dry location.

Ordinarily I'd have been adding seed-sowing containers to the light shelf every few days, but I've been pretty crunched the past couple of weeks, first with snow days & Joyanna being sick, then I got sick and had to put all my time into preparing for the talks I gave this past weekend.

So I'm going to be doing a lot of sowing, which will lead to a lot of up-potting all at once, LOL. Peppers need a couple weeks longer than tomatoes, but tomatoes go out a couple weeks sooner, so it's time to start them as well. My good intentions of starting a few early tomatoes to put out in WOWs went out the window again - maybe next year!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

David--SO? Both of them are NBC Epis? Looks like it to me,
as I can see that both of them have sent up that long stalk.

I don't know how long you have had them--but they look pretty puny...
They should be more robust and, definitely, have more fleshy leaves.

I tried to find pictures of mine--long, long ago with no luck.
I had one for years--and it grew pretty big--almost 3'--but it never bloomed.
I gave it ti Becky at her first Swap. She kept it on her small back walk-out porch.
The next year--it bloomed.

I gave "Doc" Gipes another one I had--and he put it in a HB and did his magic
on it with his own soiks and teas--and said he fed it weekly--weakly.
His just grew soooo full ond healthy--I couls not believe it.

Maybe someone can search for Doc's posts--or search dor NBC postings.


Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Gita, in the earlier photos you see only the lower portions of the NBCs (post is about seeds). Both plants are about 4 feet tall and I checked the tags and one says NBC - Gita, the other EPI - NBC Gita. At least one has bloomed

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I am late is getting our seeds going but I did just recently start the Castor Beans and Hyacinth Beans. They are looking like they are going to germinate should now in another day or so. Then I will pop them into pots.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Gita, we love the NBCs even if they don't bloom. One sent shoots through the screen. These are casement windows, so the screens are on the inside, then the glass. At least they have another foot until they reach the ceiling. Southwest window, so a great deal of light.

Terri very kindly shared her new zinna seeds with us, and I think they are all going to sprout.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sorry--David and Pat...
If they are healthy and have bloomed-then I retract my statement
about them looking "puny"...

Just wish I could find my pictures of it from many years ago.


Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Since I showed the majority of our indoor seeds, I thought I'd include this season's winter sowing. Most containers are covered with plastic grid trays to deter birds and other critters.

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Planted my Hyacinth Bean Vine and Castor Beans. I had them in a paper towel germinating, They were looking pretty good so I got them into soil today.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

That reminds me--I have a bunch of Datura seeds germinating in wet
paper towels. I forgot!!! By now they are probably well rooted
in my Bounty seed medium.

Can't help it--I gotta go find them and see what is going on.
If it is interesting--I will take a picture and let you all! Right now!

I cannot find the little baggie!!!! Have NO idea where to look!
Checked out all the likely, warish areas....NADA!

Maybe I saw it and tossed it? Oh, well--....:o(....:o(....

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

greenthumb, how often do you mist or otherwise moisten those trays?

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

The ones outside? Nothing except what Mother Nature gives them until there is germination, then according to the weather and size of the plants. One of the things I like about winter sowing is that I can sow and ignore until spring actually arrives. Most of the past two months they have been frozen solid and covered with snow, just like the ground in which the seeds would be germinating in the wild.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks. I didn't cover the trays I had outside during the winter either, but they've been looking really dry lately so I've been misting them. So far, the only seedling that has sprouted is in a tray full of seeds that I sowed a year ago. I hope it's something I wanted!

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Do you have them protected from the weather? After being frozen and buried in snow mine are not remotely dry. Also, we had nearly an inch of rain four days ago. Having impermeable surfaces under the trays may help by holding moisture in place. None of the seeds I have winter sown have sprouted yet. When one leaves the containers uncovered, the seeds germinate later than when the containers are closed (no greenhouse effect).

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Lettuce inside under lights- up in four days

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Some Zinnia seeds Jill gave me--or I picked out--supposedly 3'-4' tall
all have sprouted in 4 days.
This will be a problem! I KNOW I planted them too early, but I was
planting all my seeds and was not being picky.

Also--2 of Holly's Cream White marigolds are up.

I have some sections of the seeding cells still empty. Gotta be patient--
I will plant something in them that does not need as long a time to germinate.

I guess I will start more Daturas--as I must have thrown out the baggie
I had the seeds in. Oh, well......I soaked them and all--then put them in a zip-baggie
between moist towels about a week ago--at least.
WHERE oh WHERE might they be?????? G.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I have some trays on the patio and others on the ground; some have clear covers and others don't. I elevated the ones on the patio because I thought they needed more drainage during that rain storm; those are the ones now drying out. I'll put them back on the ground so they retain more moisture and keep an eye on them. I had to turn the outside faucet on so I could clean the %[email protected]! fish pond, so misting them is easy.

The emerging seedling might not be from seeds I sowed because that tray has been outside uncovered since fall. Time will tell!

Gita, I hope you find your Datura seeds.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I just found them....they were in a most logical place--on the lowest shelf
of my lights tack, which is just above the heat register.

Unfortunately--the paper towels kind if dried out as the zip baggies were
not closed. I had soaked them in water first--and they looked promising..
SO- the seeds were totally dry.

I moistened the towels again, closed the baggie and will see what happens.

No biggie--just that it gets later and later, and Daturas take a long time to
germinate and grow to transplant size.
My seeds are a few years old also---but that should not matter...

Waiting for the window people to arrive....G.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Gita, I just started mine yesterday. I always start my seeds late, I don't really think about them till the weather starts getting nice and then I realized that I'm behind in my sowing.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Same here! Although when I was in the basement a couple days ago, I did grab my trio of plumeria and stuff them into a pot of moist potting mix to try to get them going earlier this year.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

welll. My latest pot of Datura seed, I put it in the sunny windowsill yesterday for heat. And there it still sits.................

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I re-moistened the paper towels and closed the baggies.
Put them back on the lowest shelf of my light set-up avove the heat vent.
Will see if it germinates....
I am hoping to put a couple Daturas in my raised bed to, kind of, fill the space.
All I have in there now are some DL's. some Glads (had nowhere
else to stick them), and, will plant some Cannas along the fence.
Don't know if I will plant Wind's red ones....they are pretty--but who wants a
ton of those horrendous roots?

I had my Basil in that bed last year--it really did not perform too well.
Need full sun. Will have to stick to planting my herbs in big pots.

I MAY decide to plant the "Prince Yaku" Hydrangea in one corner there...
it is still in a big pot. It should be happy enough there..
Hmmm...decisions.....left corner or right corner,,, Right--I think.
The left corner id where I lean my wheelbarrow at. Also--that is where my
forever "hanging out" "false indigo" plant is. (forgot the real name)...


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

heat vent is good, but it's intermittent, since your furnace goes on & off... if you have a few seeds that need heat, and you have an oven with a light, you can turn on the light (not the oven heat obviously, just the light) and put the seeds in the oven. I used a thermometer and found my oven needs to have the door open about an inch (propped with a towel) for heat around 80 to 85 degrees. If the door is closed, the temp gets closer to 100, and I've read that 95+ will kill seeds.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I really do not keep track of which seeds need what. Heat? Dark? whatever..
Either they make it or not. I only sow a few--compared to the quantities you do..

I sow them, and put them on my light set-up and that is that.
Quite a bit of heat comes from those 3' shop lights--especially on the ends
where the ballast is. Man! That gets hot!

I know! It was too early to plant Zinnia seeds--but I will just have to deal with it.
OH! Some of Holly's White Cream marigolds are poking their noses up too.
It has been a week since i sowed all my seeds.
Have some put aside to sow later--the ones that said 6 weeks b/f last frost.
I am sure some of them will go right into the beds--eg, Milkweed.


Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Gita, I am very interested in seeing how your Cream Marigolds do this year. Thank you so much for saving them. If they grow true to the mother plants I may not buy them next year just save the seeds. That would be great because the price on them have really gotten high and no one wants to share a flat of plugs this year.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


It is so hard to tell if a marigold seed is "full (fertile) or just a flat nothing.
I can usually tell when I collect Zinnia seeds. Yes! I feel each one.
If it seems to have "body"--it is Ok. If it is flat--toss it.

There just is not a whole lot to a marigold seed! You have to take a chance.
So far--I only have 2 of them up. It has just been 1 week since I planted the seeds.

Did you plant yours yet? How are they doing?
Are the seeds you have just the ones i gave you--or did you save some yourself?

I have to check and see if HD has any of those seeds....probably not...
I tried to find "Curly Parsley" sees--but there do not seem to be any.

I will just p/u some from Bonnies. Soon--they will all be in.
Mine from last year is re-growing--as I knew it would.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Holly, I'll share (buy) a couple of 6-packs from your flat of cream marigolds.

I tried to start some pepper seeds that were 7 years old... nothing so far... not giving up yet since I didn't have them on the heat mat for the first 2 weeks. They "looked" good, but that's not always the telling point.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I have you covered Critter. I will be sending you and Terri a D-mail soon about the plant order. Just need to sit down and get it all figured out.

Gita, no I didn't save myself but if this works I will be next year. I haven't started mine yet but expect to tomorrow.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I hear you... I have to sort out our ADR invoices also and see what extras are still available! :-)

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